June 7, 2000
SUBJECT: U.S. Army Conference on Applied Statistics

Dear Colleague,

The Executive Board of the U.S. Army Conference on Applied Statistics is pleased to announce that Rice University will host its sixth annual conference in Houston, Texas on October 18-20, 2000.

The U.S. Army Conference on Applied Statistics is a forum for the presentation of theoretical and applied papers relating to the use of probability and statistics in solving Army problems. Today's Army faces far-ranging challenges that encompass many topics in which probability and statistics can contribute. To name a few, data mining, simulation, linear and nonlinear modeling, statistical control, data fusion, survival analysis, and experimental design play essential roles in the development and advancement of Army systems. It is the Board's goal that conference attendees include scientists ranging from statisticians with research interests to practitioners in other disciplines involved in the collection and interpretation of data.

A short course entitled "Data, Knowledge, and Information Integration to Support Decision Making", taught by Dr. Sallie Keller-McNulty and staff of Los Alamos National Laboratory, will precede the conference on October 16-17. The course will cover structured, quantitative approaches for combining data, knowledge, and information from multiple sources and in various forms (including both quantitative and qualitative) to support decision making. Techniques from various disciplines, including state-of-the-art expert elicitation, statistical and reliability analysis, and knowledge management, will be discussed and applied to develop formal methods for information integration. Possible DoD applications will be addressed.

The conference program will consist of invited talks by prominent investigators in various branches of statistics and applied probability as well as contributed papers of a technical, applied, or clinical nature. To date, the following distinguished researchers have been confirmed for invited presentations: J. Stuart Hunter (Princeton; keynote address), Alan Agresti (Florida), Donald A. Berry (Duke), Noel A. C. Cressie (Ohio State), Stuart A. Geman (Brown), Naomi Oreskes (UC San Diego), and Emanuel Parzen (Texas A&M).

Three special sessions will highlight this year's conference: 1) Biological Warfare, organized by Marek Kimmel of Rice University. In this session, statistical questions will be examined in the context of biological warfare; for example, the population impact of an accidental epidemic and the accuracy of impact predictions. 2) Digital Government, organized by Edward Wegman of George Mason University. The basic premise and structure of the Digital Government initiative will be the focus of this session, along with discussions on security issues and information warfare. 3) Reliability, organized by Arthur Fries of the Institute for Defense Analysis. Highlights of the June 2000 National Research Council "Workshop on Reliability Issues of DoD Systems" will be shared in this session.

The technical session of the conference will also feature contributed papers by Army scientists, and academic and industrial scientists, including investigators under contract to the Army. Contributed papers can vary in content from new research to well-posed problems in which statistical methods are applied to solve specific Army problems. Speakers are strongly encouraged to present their papers in terms of the potential or real problems that motivated the work. Results that rely on relatively recent or specialized results in the theory of statistics and probability should be explained in sufficient detail to permit an audience of statistical practitioners with broadly varying backgrounds to use the results to enhance their own problem-solving capabilities.

A distinct element of this conference is its Clinical Sessions. Presentations in these sessions feature applied statistics problems which have not been completely or satisfactorily solved, and for which the presenter seeks assistance in developing a satisfactory approach. A panel of experts, composed of invited speakers and other distinguished attendees, is convened for each clinical session for the purpose of providing guidance. Authors of a clinical paper must provide a brief description of the problem by September 22, 2000 in order that the panelists have sufficient time to prepare their recommendations. We invite you to consider this opportunity to present a bothersome statistical problem to some of the country's leading applied and mathematical statisticians.

Participation from many activities is sought to ensure a mixture of science and application. A call for papers is hereby extended. Speakers will be notified regarding paper acceptance no later than September 8. It may become necessary to limit the number of papers, so a timely response is recommended. To submit a paper for consideration, please send the following information by August 18 to Barry A. Bodt, U.S. Army Research Laboratory, ATTN: AMSRL-CI-CD, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21005-5067. (Electronic mail sent to babodt@arl.army.mil is preferred.)

1. Title of paper, and a short abstract written in standard ASCII text.
2. Name of author(s) and exact title of the organization(s).
3. Type of paper (technical or clinical).
4. Equipment needed (overhead, slide projector, etc.).
5. Telephone number of the author(s) (DSN or commercial).
6. E-mail address of the author(s).

Clinical and technical papers are nominally 30 minutes and 20 minutes, respectively. Of the 30 minutes available for clinical papers, approximately 10 minutes are recommended for the problem statement, allowing 20 minutes for panel discussion. The agenda will be structured to provide some discussion time between papers.

The conference also marks the occasion when the Army Wilks award is presented for significant contributions to the U.S. Army in the areas of statistical research, applications, and/or consulting. This year the Board is accepting open nominations for award candidates. Letters of nomination should include the nominee's vita relevant to Army service, and should be mailed by July 14, 2000 to Jock O. Grynovicki, U.S. Army Research Laboratory, ATTN: AMSRL-HR-IS, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 

The campus of Rice University is centrally located in Houston, Texas, the fourth largest city in the nation. Houston offers a tremendous variety of activities and attractions for visitors. The area's top tourist attraction is the Houston Space Center, a museum celebrating the accomplishments of NASA and the American manned space flight program. Other nearby attractions include the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Houston Zoo, the nearby Rice Village Shopping Center, and several art galleries and museums. Performing arts attractions include the Houston Symphony, the Houston Grand Opera, and numerous venues for all musical tastes including regional blues, county-western, and Tejano. Sports fans can catch the excitement of Houston Rockets NBA basketball, NCAA football at any of several local universities, or racing at Gulf Greyhound Park. Houston's culinary landmarks include its steakhouses, Cajun crab shacks, Tex-Mex taquerias and barbecue joints, but the diversity of its population has also spawned a wealth of fine ethnic restaurants.

This year's conference is sponsored by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, United States Military Academy, TRADOC Analysis Center - WSMR, Army Research Office, and National Institute for Standards and Technology - with cooperation from Los Alamos National Laboratory, RAND, George Mason University, Rice University, Office of Naval Research, and Institute for Defense Analysis. Conference meetings will convene in the newly constructed Duncan Hall on the Rice campus, and a block of rooms has been reserved at the nearby Crowne Plaza Hotel, Houston Medical Center. A host letter providing more detailed information regarding registration fees, additional lodging, agenda, etc. will follow in August. Prior to this mailing, information concerning the conference and tutorial can be obtained via the Internet at http://rpstl.arl.mil/isb/acas/. Any additional inquiries concerning the conference may be directed to Barry A. Bodt at the address noted previously, by phone (410-278-6659), or by fax (410-278-4988).

David W. Webb
Conference Committee


Executive Board of the U.S. Army Conference on Applied Statistics

Barry A. Bodt, Chair
U.S. Army Research Laboratory

J. Robert Burge
Walter Reed Army Institute of Research
David F. Cruess
Uniformed Services
University of the Health Sciences
Paul J. Deason
U.S.A. Training and Doctrine Command
Eugene F. Dutoit
U.S. Army Infantry School
Arthur Fries
Institute for Defense Analysis
Jock O. Grynovicki
U.S. Army Research Laboratory
Robert L. Launer
U.S. Army Research Office
Wendy L. Martinez
Office of Naval Research
LTC David H. Olwell
Naval Postgraduate School
Carl T. Russell
Joint National Test Facility
Douglas B. Tang
Uniformed Services
University of the Health Sciences
Deloris M. Testerman
U.S.A. Test and Evaluation Command
James R. Thompson
Rice University
Mark G. Vangel
National Institute of Standards and Technology
David W. Webb
U.S. Army Research Laboratory
Edward J. Wegman
George Mason University
Alyson Wilson
Los Alamos National Laboratory